What sent Texas reeling is not an engineering problem, nor frozen wind turbines. It is a structure that offers no incentives to prepare for winter. In the name of deregulation and free markets— electric grid that puts cheap prices over reliable service. 🧵
2) It’s a “Wild West market design based only on short-run prices,” said a portfolio manager, Matt Breidert. The temporary train wreck has seen the wholesale price of electricity in Houston go from $22 a megawatt-hour to about $9,000, while 4 mil Texans have been without power.
4) Edward Hirs, an energy fellow at the University of Houston, said the disinvestment in electricity production reminds him of the last years of the Soviet Union, or of the oil sector today in Venezuela.

“They hate it when I say that,” he said.
5) Power outages plague Texas, other states amid deadly cold, snow
The immediate question facing the Texas power sector is whether its participants are willing to pay for the sort of winterization measures that are common farther north, even for once-in-a-decade spell of weather.
6) Fossil fuel groups & Republican allies blamed power failures on frozen wind turbines and warned against the supposed dangers of alternative power. Some turbines did in fact freeze — though Greenland and other Arctic places are able to keep theirs going through the winter.
7) and only a measly 7% of Texas energy comes from wind. So don’t try to blame wind for ~20 GW of electricity ⚡️ deficit. https://twitter.com/drericding/status/1362048849402019840
8) And it was also the unwillingness to join national power grids and be subject to federal oversight. https://twitter.com/drericding/status/1361680242939752458
9) “As the cold hit, demand for electricity soared past @ERCOT_ISO had figured would be maximum needed. But when the world is awash in surplus natural gas, much of it from Texas, power-generating operators were unable to turn that gas into electricity to meet that demand.”
10) ...pipelines froze up because there was some moisture in the gas. Pumps slowed. Diesel engines to power the pumps refused to start. One power plant after another went offline. Even a reactor at one of the state’s two nuclear plants went dark, hobbled by frozen equipment.
11) Texas has a massive 21 GW deficit right now. Most isn’t from wind. Wind is down 2.6 GW from normal. But that is still small part of total deficit.
13) that said, even for wind, Texas totally skimped on the cold weather upgrade package that other countries use for wind turbines in the winter. https://twitter.com/drericding/status/1361626388550279169
15) there crisis isn’t over. Stay safe until then. Don’t operate grills indoors without a real fireplace. Don’t run the cars in the garage without open garage door. https://twitter.com/drericding/status/1362040508474884098
16) Texas still over 3 million without power. And “load shedding” euphemisms for the blackouts. https://twitter.com/DrEricDing/status/1362103137880977409
17) All while leaders are still blame shedding. https://twitter.com/drericding/status/1362093597802250243
You can follow @DrEricDing.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled:

By continuing to use the site, you are consenting to the use of cookies as explained in our Cookie Policy to improve your experience.